In his first week as pastor at First Baptist Church, Eric Fields is still working on knowing the names and faces of his congregation.
But that hasn’t stopped him from making plans for his new flock.
Fields, 39, moved to Clovis just in time to preach his first sermon on Sunday evening. Fields, a husband and father of four, was born and raised in Louisville, Ky., and comes to First Baptist after serving at Hazlewood Baptist Church for seven years.
Fields said he is excited about the 101-year-old Clovis church and plans to expand its missionary programs.
“I want the congregation to be in a missional mindset. We need to plan make our goal to reach people for Christ. And not just in our neighborhood, across the nation and overseas,” he said.
As any new pastor, his plans for the future are mingled with challenges in the present.
Fields said that Clovis and Louisville are so different, living here is like learning a different culture.
“Being here for only a week, I don’t know much about the community. I want to know what people in the church and the community want,” he said.
And Cannon Air Force Base presents another challenge for the pastor.
“I’ve never interacted with military families. They have their own challenges that I am not familiar with. I need to know them better to know how to minister to them,” Fields said.
Despite the challenges in moving his family to Clovis, Fields said God made it clear to him that it was what he wanted.
“After a visit to Clovis in December, I flew back to Louisville and for the first time in my life, I felt like I had left home instead of coming home. That was very telling that God was changing my heart to come here,” he said.
The elders of the church also felt that God wanted Fields as the church’s new pastor. Elder Terry Townsend said there was immediate connection between the elder body and Eric and his family.
“There was something about Eric and Kristi and their family. It didn’t matter how many applicants we looked at, it kept coming back to them,” he said.
Townsend said the elders where drawn to Fields’ preaching style. Townsend said that while some pastors preach on topic, Fields takes a book of the Bible and preaches his way through it, verse by verse.
“And that appeals to the people of this church,” he said.